A prayer for spring

I am sitting on my bed with darkness still shrouding the valley beyond the window. Yet I am aware that the air outside is filled with the chirruping and whistling of all kinds of birds as the waken to a new day. I found that I have the option on my phone to choose this sound as my alarm; it’s so much more gentle to wake up to the sound of birds than to some ghastly claxon!

The cheeriness of the birds outside my window tells me that spring is well underway here in southern Spain. I like the way I am becoming familiar with the incremental steps that move us towards warmer weather here. First, of course, is the almond blossom, that joyous herald of new things. The earliest blossoms to bloom, these delicate white flowers are hard to miss once they get going and now they cover the countryside in a way that yells springtime! 

Then we begin to see a slice of sunshine across the far side of our balcony. All through the winter, the balcony remains in shadow, the angle of the sun never permitting it to create even a small puddle of warmth and light. We miss the way the sunshine can light up this space, with its perfect view across the valley, its comfy chair and basket of books. And then, after many months, we spot it: the sun is back! It has become strong enough to make its mark again on our personal balcony sundial, which tells us that spring has arrived.

There are others things I am aware of in this season. We leave the windows open more often. We had the last fire in the grate without noticing we wouldn’t need it again for many months. I’m close to exchanging my now too-warm slippers for the flip-flops I’ll live in throughout warmer seasons. We’re filled with the urge to clean the patio, to clear the garden of weeds, to make space for ourselves outside. All across our residential area, families are painting and pruning, renovating and renewing in this warm window of time between too cold and too hot.

It’s hard to miss this feeling of new life. It’s like there’s this great sky-written invitation to shake out the shadows of the winter months and dance with fresh air freedom. Does my spirit feel it too? The old way of things is giving way to new life, do I feel it? There’s a shaking out, a breathing deep, a desire for action, to straighten things out so that we can inhabit this new life with all the joy of those singing birds.

May the blossoms bud on your branches. May the light of the sun slice through the shadowy places in your life. May a new song find its way to your lips and may a fresh wind enliven your heart.